Korean Baked Cauliflower

These cauliflower florets are baked to crispy golden-brown and coated with the most amazing sweet & spicy sticky sauce. Inspired by pub-style Korean Fried Chicken — only vegan, much healthier, and arguably tastier.


Since these are baked, they are much more approachable and nearly mess-free. I wouldn’t say they’re any less crispy or less delicious than their fried counterpart, though.


If you’re looking for Fried Cauliflower…

If you’re feeling a little too healthy, I’ve got you with these! Fried Taiwanese Popcorn Cauliflower.


Korean Baked Cauliflower

5 from 3 votes
Recipe by George L. Course: SnackCuisine: KoreanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

1

hour 
Cooking time

30

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium -sized cauliflower, cut into florets

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon potato starch (substitute: corn starch)

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds

  • 2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs

  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, to finish

  • Vegan Buttermilk Brine
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk, I used almond milk

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • Sticky Spicy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1/2 cup mirin

  • 2 tablespoon sriracha

  • 2 tablespoon tamari soy sauce (low sodium)

  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoon gochujang, or korean chili paste

  • 1 pinch gochugaru, or korean chili pepper flakes

Directions

  • Brine the Cauliflower. Place all cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Add all the Vegan Buttermilk ingredients into the bowl (non-dairy milk last) and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Prepare Coatings. In a food processor, blitz the raw almonds until they’re crushed but NOT resembling almond meal, around 6-10 pulses. In a bowl, combine almonds with panko breadcrumbs (See notes). In a separate bowl, mix together all purpose flour and potato starch. Set aside.
  • Make the Sauce. In a non-stick pan, heat sesame oil on medium heat and fry ginger and garlic until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add in all the remaining ingredients, combine well, and bring to a boil. Once the sauce reaches your desired consistency (for me, this usually takes no reduction at all), taste for seasoning and remove off the heat. Set aside.
  • Bread the Cauliflower. Pre-heat the oven to 420 degrees F (215 C). Once the cauliflower has brined long enough, separate the cauliflower florets from the buttermilk brine. Set up four separate stations: 1) cauliflower florets. 2) buttermilk brine. 3) panko breadcrumbs & almonds. 4) all purpose flour & potato starch. The breading is a double coat, as follows: dip each cauliflower floret into the flour & potato starch mixture, shake off excess, dip into the buttermilk brine again, shake off excess, and then into the panko & almond mixture. Be sure to fully coat the cauliflower! Repeat for all florets, and set them onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Optional: drizzling with ~1 tablespoon of olive oil helps them crisp up.
  • Bake & Finish. Bake for around 30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown & crispy. When the cauliflower is almost done baking, re-heat the sauce (the sauce should be warm/hot, so the cauliflower won’t turn soggy). Toss the baked cauliflower in sauce right after it comes out of the oven. Sprinkle with white sesame seeds. Serve warm.

Notes

  • Optional Step for Panko Breadcrumbs: toast them first in a pan with a little bit of vegetable oil until lightly-golden brown. This helps improve the color of the baked cauliflower, especially if you’re serving without sauce.

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Caitlin Havener
3 months ago

This sounds like the perfect combination with beer, when we put kids to sleep 😉 I can’t wait to try it! And I think children would love this too, just maybe without spicy spices for them. Definitely a great way to get them to eat cauliflower.
Thank for sharing!

❤ Caitlin
cleancookingcaitlin.com

Katie K
Katie K
2 months ago

I’ve made this a couple of times in the past month and it’s fantaaaastic!! The sauce is great, and though it’s a little time consuming to dip and coat the cauliflower, the result is worth it. Super crispy, and also super filling (maybe it’s the almonds helping out?). This is the third time I’m making it within the span of a month! Thank you!

Fally
Fally
1 month ago

Mmmm this is good. I couldnt really get them crunchy and crispy but it didnt really matter due to the sauce coating. Also, I didnt have the Korean chilli so I used dried chilli, i was a bit heavy handed, nevermind i like sweet n spicy. They look awesome too, like you just wanna gobble them all down immediately.

Fally
Fally
1 month ago

….more details to add about these yummy morsels. Whats really good, and not expected when popped into my mouth is that they are not greasy or oily. The flavour isn’t that familiar hot oil taste. Thanks to this recipe I’m very lease with myself for persevering, its quite a lot of work in my small kitchen. Thanks Jorge.

Bethany
Bethany
1 month ago

This is the kind of thing I always want to order at a restaurant but I’m often disappointed. This is the first recipe of yours I’ve tried and now I have to work my way through all of them! These are amazing!!! My non vegan roommate loved them as much as I did and I can’t wait to make them again!